Has anyone ever told you something you wish they didn’t? Our world is a beautiful place, but full of horrible realities. Sometimes the price of knowledge can be agonizing, and ignorance is indeed a bliss. Here are 18 horrible facts that’ll potentially steal your sleep at night. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
1. In the 18th century, rich people paid to get their rotten teeth removed and replaced them with the healthy teeth of poor people. This fad reached its highest peak when in 1815, teeth were pulled out from the corpses of soldiers who had died at the Battle of Waterloo.
Until the 1700s, painful extraction was the only way to deal with a toothache. Before that, there hadn’t been a real effort to understand dentistry, and so people’s knowledge on how to maintain good teeth had been limited. In 1771, a failed doctor named John Hunter published a pioneering book called the Natural History of the Human Teeth, which proposed a scientific solution to people’s teeth problems. In this book, he suggested the idea of teeth transparent that instantly became a craze among the rich people. He suggested that healthy teeth from the living or the dead can be used to replace with the rotten ones. The idea was soon picked up by the wealthy people. (source)
2. There is a belief in South Africa that having sex with a virgin will cure HIV/AIDS. So adult men rape young girls and children who are as young as even nine-years-old in hope of a cure. It’s called ‘virgin cleansing myth’.
The country, which is already ridden with poverty, unemployment, and violence, is in the grip of a widespread myth that says virgins could cure a man suffering from HIV or Aids. South Africa had the highest number of HIV-positive people in the world. Back in 2001, reports on sexual abuse of children surged significantly and children as young as nine-years-old were being gang-raped by men looking for a cure. Many a time, victims contracted HIV, and some died of that disease. (source)
3. During World War 2, the Japanese Imperial Army carried out horrifying experiments on humans, such as vivisection of living people, injection of diseases disguised as vaccinations, freezing the subjects’ limbs to study the effect, amputating limbs of the subjects, reattaching them to the other parts of their body, and so on.
The army set up a biological and chemical warfare research and development center, which was called Unit 731. The list of horrors at Unit 731 is quite long. Experiments were done under the supervision of commander Shiro Ishii. At the end of the war, commander Shiro Ishii was granted immunity by the American Occupation Authorities. He died of throat cancer at the age of 67. (source)
4. When someone with HIV infection has sex with another HIV-infected person with a different strain of the virus, they might become “superinfected”. The worst part is that the superinfected person becomes immune to the HIV medication.
Superinfection may lead to a more rapid disease progression. It’s very rare, and since 2002, only 16 cases of superinfection have been documented. Studies have found that 95% of superinfection cases have occurred during the first three years of the infection. Other than having sex with someone, sharing needles can also lead to superinfection. (1, 2)
5. Until 1986, Doctors did not think babies could feel pain, and they performed open-heart surgeries on infants without anesthesia.
The indifference of doctors to their patients’ pain and sickness is a challenge that practitioners of the field have faced since time immemorial. Before the 1980s, back in the days of ignorance, doctors were in denial of the fact that infants could feel pain. As a result, children as old as 15 months were being operated without any anesthesia in developed countries like the USA. Experiments to observe the newborns began at universities in the beginning of 20th century. Eventually, it was concluded by many scholars that infants not only feel severe pain during those procedures such as surgery but can be physically damaged and psychologically traumatized by it.(source)
6. Priapism is a condition in which men suffer from erection for over 4 hours. The treatment is gruesome where needles are jabbed into the penis to draw out the stagnant blood causing the condition. If that doesn’t work, then a small hole is cut at the top of the penis to drain the blood.
It’s a medical condition in which after erection the penis refuses to shrink back to its normal state. When Priapism occurs, the blood in the penis remains stagnant and this deprives penis of oxygen for a long time. Then, the penis remains erected for 4 – 6 hours causing erectile dysfunction or disfigurement of the penis, and even penile gangrene. As if these weren’t horrific enough, to treat Priapism, urologists stick a needle into the penis and draw out the stagnant blood. In rare cases, they perform a surgical operation that involves cutting a small hole in the head of the penis and draining out the blood. (source)